Omaha kids steal Kia and Hyundai cars for social media clout

Omaha kids steal Kia and Hyundai cars for social media clout


Many Omahans are revved up over one of the latest TikTok challenges. Now police face a challenge of their own, as certain kinds of car thefts skyrocket. If you drive a Hyundai or Kia that requires a key to start the engine, you might want to park it in a garage or get a steering wheel club, so you don’t see your car get its 15 seconds of TikTok infamy. A trendy TikTok challenge is the driving force behind a series of car break-ins and thefts, per Omaha police. “I leaned in and looked, and there was glass all over the seat,” said Simone Rentel, whose Hyundai window was smashed in Midtown. The vandals, caught on security cameras, sped off on foot but wrecked her steering wheel. Omaha police say there were 126 Hyundais and Kias stolen in the first seven months of 2020 and 131 in 2021. So far this year, 230 have been reported.”We’ve apprehended a couple individuals that were involved in the theft,” said Omaha Police Lt. Kyle Steffen. Steffen said it is mostly kids committing these crimes. Some key evidence? Their TikToks, which were viewed thousands of times. “They’re trying to up their views or clicks, whatever it may be,” Steffen said. TikTok may be new and novel, but Omaha’s Smart Gen Society said kids making questionable choices to impress their peers is a trend as old as time. “Their brains aren’t fully developed quite yet, even if they feel like they are,” said Nallely Hernandez, program manager at Smart Gen, which teaches young people about best online practices. Our viewers around the Metro shared these pictures and videos, igniting further investigation from OPD. “They’re stealing that vehicle,” Steffen said. “They’re joyriding a little bit, they’re getting a video and then they’re abandoning it.”These teens’ ‘joyriding’ leaves someone like Simone stranded.”My insurance isn’t covering it,” Rentel said. “So it’s gonna be like around $1,000.”Police and Smart Gen want to steer kids away from this challenge, because they will drive right into legal trouble. “This challenge, specifically, they feel like no one is being immediately harmed,” Hernandez said. “So they kind of justify their action.”Police say they work with at-risk youth, in hopes of pumping the brakes on these kinds of challenges before they go this far. If you find any videos and recognize people in them, call Crime Stoppers at 402-444-STOP.

Many Omahans are revved up over one of the latest TikTok challenges. Now police face a challenge of their own, as certain kinds of car thefts skyrocket.

If you drive a Hyundai or Kia that requires a key to start the engine, you might want to park it in a garage or get a steering wheel club, so you don’t see your car get its 15 seconds of TikTok infamy.

A trendy TikTok challenge is the driving force behind a series of car break-ins and thefts, per Omaha police.

“I leaned in and looked, and there was glass all over the seat,” said Simone Rentel, whose Hyundai window was smashed in Midtown. The vandals, caught on security cameras, sped off on foot but wrecked her steering wheel.

Omaha police say there were 126 Hyundais and Kias stolen in the first seven months of 2020 and 131 in 2021. So far this year, 230 have been reported.

“We’ve apprehended a couple individuals who were involved in the theft,” said Omaha Police Lt. Kyle Steffen.

Steffen said it is mostly kids committing these crimes. Some key evidence? Their TikToks, which were viewed thousands of times.

“They’re trying to up their views or clicks, whatever it may be,” Steffen said.

TikTok may be new and novel, but Omaha’s Smart Gen Society said kids making questionable choices to impress their peers is a trend as old as time.

“Their brains aren’t fully developed quite yet, even if they feel like they are,” said Nallely Hernandez, program manager at Smart Gen, which teaches young people about best online practices.

Our viewers around the Metro shared these pictures and videos, igniting further investigation from OPD.

“They’re stealing that vehicle,” Steffen said. “They’re joyriding a little bit, they’re getting a video and then they’re abandoning it.”

These teens’ ‘joyriding’ leaves someone like Simone stranded.

“My insurance isn’t covering it,” Rentel said. “So it’s gonna be like around $1,000.”

Police and Smart Gen want to steer kids away from this challenge, because they will drive right into legal trouble.

“This challenge, specifically, they feel like no one is being immediately harmed,” Hernandez said. “So they kind of justify their action.”

Police say they work with at-risk youth, in hopes of pumping the brakes on these kinds of challenges before they go this far. If you find any videos and recognize people in them, call Crime Stoppers at 402-444-STOP.

.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.